How to get better tone? Turn down the drive on OD pedal.

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by mtm105, Jul 15, 2021.

  1. bobpick68

    bobpick68 Well-Known Member

    Sep 4, 2018
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    Ahh yes. The gain vs distortion thing. Lots of folks think high gain is always for brutal metal but not necessarily. Angus and Malcolm Young used tons of gain but not much distortion, especially in the early days. Gain can create distortion sure but they are not mutually exclusive. I really enjoy lot's of gain with a hint of distortion for my rhythm playing. I am not that much of a lead player so when I do solo I need distortion and compression to pull it off (pun intended) convincingly.

    I like PPIMV and FX loops because I like to crank up the master and use either channel volume or pre-gain knob for overall volume. yeah it's touchy that way with most amps but once you hit it right, it's heavenly. Alternately sometimes I like to use the FX loop to push the power section hard.
  2. Sapient

    Sapient   Silver Supporting Member Platinum Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2020
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    I thought that just might be a little controversial. I don't mean 0 sustain. Lol. Think page in the Song Remains the Same. When he does his main solo you can tell there is not much sustain and his notes are rather blunt. I personally like that sound. Kinda when you have to fight it a little.

  3. Derek S

    Derek S Well-Known Member

    Nov 24, 2010
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    Rock Ridge
    That having to fight it a little level of saturation is where great tone lives...with the added bonus of also revealing playing quirks, where your hands speak for you more than distortion.
    Stephen H and donnyrocker like this.
  4. Derrick111

    Derrick111 Active Member

    Jun 26, 2020
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    When I was starting out, I used a lot of gain. I used to jumper both channels of my JMP and use a Real Tube or other pedal in front of that. It was thick and warm, but really muddy and undefined. As I gained more experience, first I figured out that the second channel isn't just adding gain, it is adding a muddy undefined quality so I backed it off. That mad a huge difference! Second, I figured out you could use a clean boost for more gain instead of an OD pedal for better sound and more definition but achieve higher gain. The bonus is that making the amp work harder instead of relying on an OD pedal sounds more organic and can bring some chaos which I love. As I got better and had more confidence, I began using less gain and have just plugged directly into the JMP or JCM, only using the amps stock gain. Partially, this had to do with the music I play and the music I no longer play. A JCM800 has all the gain I need now.
    Stephen H likes this.
  5. abkeller1

    abkeller1 Active Member

    Mar 19, 2015
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    That does not work well with a 2204. Sorry dude. For a cleaner amp maybe.
  6. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2011
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    Yeah...my old 2204 didn't have an FX loop either... :(

    Works great with my 3203 and other high-gain amps.
    One caveat with doing this is to have a compressor with an 'Attack', 'Mix', or 'Blend' control.
  7. Stephen H

    Stephen H New Member

    Jun 21, 2021
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    Too true! That's one thing I love about a classic Marshall circuit, they show every tonal nuance of any guitar/pickup/control settings. With my old S1 with all the pickup switching options through my Twin there was only one position that sounded usable but with a Marshall every position was gr8.
  8. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

    Dec 7, 2009
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    You like the mini heads so go for a 20 watt Marshall, you got the 2525, DSL, SV, SC, Origin, all respectable amps to choose from with a flavor of their own. Theyre small, just stack it on top of one of your others it wont take up any room. I moved around alot at least 12 times in the past 55 years so I know how you feel. Add a 2nd car garage to your house and sound proof it for a home studio! :yesway:
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2021
    Ufoscorpion likes this.

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